Catholic Church, Italy and Philippines

In Philippines, a Roman Catholic majority country, the government has rejected contraception a family planning tool since it goes against the Church doctrine. The President herself suggested what the population should do – “Women not wanting to get pregnant, Arroyo advised, should buy a thermometer and recording charts and abstain from sex when they are outside the ‘infertile phases of the monthly cycle.'” The result of this advice, according to Washington Post, is a country of poor people with large families.

Acceding to Catholic doctrine, the government for the past five years has supported only what it calls “natural” family planning. No national government funds can be used to buy contraceptives for the poor, although anyone who can afford them is permitted to buy them. Local governments can also buy and distribute contraceptives, but many lack the money.

In 2005, Catholic bishops in the southern Philippines announced that they would refuse Communion to government health workers who distributed birth control devices. [Birthrates Help Keep Filipinos in Poverty]

Deepak Chopra writes what is happening in the Pope’s back yard where people have rejected the thermometer and graphs.

Italy, the home country of Catholicism in Europe, has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. This implies a resort to contraception, and yet Church dogma calls that a sin, forcing its parishioners into Hobson’s choice.

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